The study revealing the pathological findings that research revealing; that a human stomach pathogen is attracting to bleach. Discovering the molecular mechanism by which the human stomach pathogen Helicobacter pylori is attracting to bleach; also known as hypochlorous acid or HOCI. The study revealed that H. pyloriuses a protein called TlpD to sense bleach and swim toward it; and that the bacteria Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli can use TlpD-like proteins to detect bleach in the environment.
But according to H. pylori uses the protein TlpD to sense sites of tissue inflammation, which could help the bacteria colonize the stomach and perhaps locate damaged tissue and nutrients. The paper, Helicobacter pylori senses bleach (HOCI) as a chemoattractant using a cytosolic chemoreceptor; The health burden caused by H. pylori is particularly large, researchers say, because it infects about half the world’s population with nearly 100|% infection rates in some developing regions.
Human stomach pathogen
The bacterium takes up residence inside small pockets in the stomach; called stomach glands, that are thought to shelter it from the hostile gastric environment. H. pylori causes chronic inflammation and stomach ulcers. It is a major risk factor for stomach cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer worldwide. Part of the rationale for studying this particular protein is that we know the navigation system that Helicobacter pylori has is really important for the bacteria to be able to infect and cause disease.
H. pylori, like most bacteria, use special proteins to sense chemicals in their environment. The process, known as chemotaxis, allows them to regulate their flagella to swim toward or away from compounds they encounter. The research team set out to determine how bacteria respond to the presence of bleach; which is producing by white blood cells in the body and is a key part of how the immune system fights bacteria.
Reactive oxygen species
It turns out that this is not a machinery that is exclusive to Helicobacter pylori; and it allowing us insights into other bacteria that have similar proteins. But previous research had revealing that reactive oxygen species; might be the compounds that were sensing by the TlpD protein, so Perkins testing different compounds; including hydrogen peroxide, superoxide and bleach.
This project started from this really rigorous molecular insight, and then we progressed to thinking about what this means for the behavior of the bacteria. Normally, bleach produced during inflammation is effective at killing bacteria. But H. pylori is unusual in making its home in inflamed tissue for decades apparently without being eradicated by the bleach.